In an effort to facilitate the pathway to permanent residency for foreign national physicians providing publicly-funded medical services in Canada, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has signed a temporary public policy introducing exemptions for doctors in the Express Entry Canadian Experience Class and Federal Skilled Worker Program. These exemptions have been in effect since April 25, 2023, and will remain in effect indefinitely unless revoked by the immigration minister.
The purpose of these exemptions is to alleviate the job offer and work experience criteria for self-employed foreign national physicians, particularly those working in a fee-for-service model, in order to enhance their eligibility for the Express Entry system. The exemptions apply to both the Canadian Experience Class and the Federal Skilled Worker Program, allowing more foreign national physicians to qualify for Express Entry and earn additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points.
The need for these exemptions arises from the fact that to qualify for arranged employment points in Express Entry, an offer of employment typically requires continuous work in Canada for at least one year following the issuance of a permanent residence visa. However, some physicians may not meet this requirement due to the nature of their work arrangements, which may not entail continuous employment for a minimum of one year.
In many cases, physicians in Canada work as independent contractors, providing publicly funded medical services reimbursed by provincial/territorial public health authorities under fee-for-service or other contractual arrangements. This self-employed nature of their work renders them ineligible for the Express Entry system.
With the new exemptions in place, qualified physicians will have a better chance of meeting the eligibility criteria for the Federal Skilled Worker Program and Canadian Experience Class, allowing them to enter the Express Entry pool. Additionally, relevant revisions to the Express Entry Ministerial Instructions will increase the likelihood of foreign national physicians receiving an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence.
This temporary policy aims to address the ongoing shortage of healthcare professionals in Canada by increasing the number of permanent physicians in the country.
The following five physician occupations are exempted from the job offer requirement and the ineligibility of self-employed applicants in the Express Entry system:
Physicians in these occupations will no longer be required to demonstrate that their arranged job offer must be continuous and last for at least one year after the issuance of a permanent residence visa. However, the job offer must be provided by a province or territorial government, a government entity, a government-appointed body, or a healthcare provider organization delivering publicly funded medical services.
Additionally, physicians can claim points for self-employed work experience as independent contractors under the occupations listed above, which is typically not eligible for Express Entry.
These exemptions aim to facilitate the eligibility of foreign-trained physicians and address the specific challenges they may face in meeting the job offer and work experience requirements under the Express Entry system.
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